As this is the last week of August, I wanted to write about one of my summer paintings. “Jessie Swimming” is a 24" x 30" acrylic painting of our first dog Jessie, a Golden Retriever, during one of her favourite activities. She is so happy in this wet element, her wild doggy paddle splashing the water all around her. This painting, which hangs in our hallway, brings back a lot of happy memories. While she loved the swimming, Jessie always hated it when we put her floppy ears up with a clip after the water fun so they would dry faster. Without this little trick, she would often end up with a nasty ear infection.
Jessie was my first dog while my husband had grown up with several dogs. We adopted Jessie right after we moved into our first house to help me overcome my extreme fear of dogs. She possessed all the qualities typical for her breed. She was very smart, loyal, and extremely friendly. She was the perfect dog to help me deal with my fear. I was quite nervous around her at the beginning but if you see me now, you would never guess that I had not been a dog person all my life. She loved to play, but even more to please. Therefore, she was easy to train, and as we did not have kids yet, we focused all our energy on her.
She loved to retrieve everything you could think of, usually carrying a branch the size of a small tree during our walks. My husband taught her many tricks but the best was to pick up her poop bags and to throw them into the garbage can. This was always a big attraction for everyone we met.
She also really loved water and went swimming whenever she saw a chance. She even had her own little pool in our yard. Every time, we went to my in-law's cottage, she went swimming with us. We usually tried to combine it with a game of fetch because otherwise she would try to swim to one of us, often leaving us with big scratches from her nails. We had so much fun together. I only realized how much I cherished these moments after she died.
I was very sad that our second Golden, Candy, the sweetest girl you can imagine, had none of the typical Golden characteristics. For the longest time, she was a cat in a dog's body. Our Australian Shepherd Alex was the one who slowly transformed her into a dog. However, even though he liked water, he never ventured into areas where his feet did not touch the ground – until last summer. Since then, he just loves it. He does not care whether the water is cold or warm, he just runs right in. He has never been in the water with us so far. I hope he will join us for a swim this September, when we will go to my in-law's cottage again. It would make me really happy. If not, that is OK too. I like to watch him swimming, seeing how much he enjoys himself.
I hope you enjoyed my anecdote. Do you have a pet who loves or hates water? Maybe, you would like to share a funny story with us, either in the comment section of this blog or on my Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/KerstinPetersPaintings) or Google+ page (https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KerstinpetersCa).